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Category Archives: Feedback Importance

How Do You Gauge Success in a Project?

Success can mean different things to everyone.  For example, if you completed the tasks you set out for your day, then that most likely means a success to you.  So what makes a project successful?  Is a project successful by answering yes to any of the below questions?

  • Does the project meet the established time and budget criteria?
  • What beneficial impact does this project have on the customer?
  • Has the project meet its return on investment?
  • Has the project altered the infrastructure of the organization to increase future business success and customer impact?
  • Is it simply enough just to the complete the project?

Main Four Items that are Success Measures with the Ability to Complete the Project:

  1. According to the desired specifications outlined in the project plan
  2. Within the specified budget
  3. Within the promised time frame
  4. Maintain keeping the customer and stakeholders happy

Importance to Measuring Success

  • If you cannot measure the SMART goal, you cannot control it, but which if you can’t control it, you cannot manage it.
  • Ability to assess the current performance to monitor and control the project to make sure the project object is met on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders
  • Adjust any project initiatives during the project to take action sooner, rather than later
  • Set goals to achieve an objective
  • Ability to anticipate any potential deviation that needs to be corrected
  • Is the quality of the product the project is delivery up to expectations
  • Improved quality of communication by keeping everyone informed, on track, and involved in the project

Tools to Help You Measure Project Success:

  • Give a survey to the stakeholders in a project to see what feedback you receive
  • Have a lessons learned session
  • Complete a SWOT analysis on each element of the project (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)
  • Project Budget Comparison between the beginning and the end of the project
  • Project Schedule:  Was the project completed on time?
  • Project Scope Outcome how the stakeholders expected?
  • End-user opinions of the project

What other tools do you use to measure a successful project?

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Importance of Sharing News Internally

At work, I manage projects that are focused around Customer Promotions, Pricing, and IT projects for a large international company with over 5,000 employees.  I will say, it always amazes me how you can go from a basic project idea, with a few people, to having touched so many different individuals and departments throughout the implementation of the project.

A few weeks ago, I was asked by a supervisor at my work to prepare an hour presentation to talk to his team about our customers promotions and a few other projects I manage.  I will say this presentation and other presentations I have given to departments are always an absolute honor and joy to do!  I love getting to meet new people, learn from others and what they do for our organization, gain some very insightful feedback, and enjoy providing others with helpful information that hopefully will make some part of their job easier.

Benefits of Internal Meetings:

  • Get A Different View From Other Users:  I have held several lessons learned sessions with my project team after a project was implemented and have gained great feedback and suggestions, but think it is important to also talk with other “behind the scenes” users and departments that are outside of your project team to hear how they are impacted and what their feedback is, as it can also be quite powerful information
    • For example:
      • I have talked to those that audit our sales orders to make sure they understand the promotion, so the orders can be scrubbed to verify they are entered correctly and met the requirements of the promotion
      • I have talked to several sales representatives to get their feedback on our customer promotions, ways to improve the rollout process, and ask if they have any new customer promotion ideas that we can look into implementing, as they have the best knowledge of our customer’s needs
      • I have talk to those that run reports based off our promotions to make sure they report the information correctly and understand what the results mean, as they send these report to upper management
  • Put Faces With Names: You may send several e-mails or talk to co-workers over the phone, but it is always nice to put a faces with a names, as it provides you an opportunity to get to know your fellow co-workers better and see their non-verbal communication in real-life
  • Build A Strong Human Network:  By meeting more and more new people, it allows you to build a strong network of “go-to” people to ask questions to, instead of just picking a random person in the corporate directory
  • Learn & Share Information: It allows you to share information with both parties to give each other heads up on any potential impacts of a given project and possibly help others in their day-to-day job responsibilities
  • Appreciate Others: By getting to meet others and learn how your projects impact others, you can paint a better picture in your mind on how many people are impacted by the projects you implement, which leads me to appreciate everyone and all of their behind the scenes and hard work even more

No matter how big or small a project is, the impacts can be felt across several different individuals and departments.  My advice is to take a moment, every now and then, and get to know others in your organization, as it helps build a tighter and stronger team, that results in helping everyone and the overall business in the end.

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Delegation in Project Management, Part 2

Now that you have decided to delegate some work to another individual, I thought it may be helpful to have a checklist of items you should do when you delegate work to another person:

  1. Clearly Articulate:
    1. What is the job responsibility is?
    2. What is the desired outcome/end goal Is?
    3. What is expected and what are the deliverables?
    4. What is the schedule or deadlines in the job responsibility?
    5. Who can help if the individual has any issues?
    6. Why they were chosen for the job?  This provides you with an opportunity to provide positive feedback about the individual, such as: the person has a great attention to detail or they have a great sense of developing better processes to increase efficiencies.
  2. Provide Past Job History:  How the job was developed/came to you, as the tribal knowledge should be passed down and not forgotten.  This knowledge may be helpful in future decisions
  3. Define the Boundaries: Where are the lines of authority drawn, what level of responsibility does the individual have, and what they are accountable for.  Example: If the person has to go through 5 people to get proper sign off before they can implement X, this is important information to pass along to the individual
  4. Buck Stops With You: Understand that you can delegate some responsibility, but you still are accountable in making sure the task is completed and up to standards
  5. Provide Proper Training: In-house hands-on training, classes taught at an institute, and/or documentation
  6. Provide Adequate Support:  Be available to answer questions by having a good communication path
  7. Focus on the Results:  Rather nitpick detail-by-detail of how the work should be done, you should focus on the overall accomplishment, as your way may not be the most efficient way
  8. Build Motivation and Commitment:  What does the future hold for taking on this new role, such as: financial rewards, future opportunities, recognition
  9. Establish and Maintain Control:  Agree upon a schedule of checkpoints to answer any questions and make sure everything is being handled.  This gives you the ability to make any necessary modifications to meet a deadline or if things are not working out as planned
  10. Review Final Work: Review and provide feedback on the individual’s work results, so the person understands they are held accountable for what results they produced.  If you are not satisfied with the work and accept it, the individual does not fully learn the job responsibility or worse, accept the fact that poor work is acceptable

Finally, it is important to recognize and reward the individual for their hard work.  Showing appreciation for others can sure go a long way towards building a strong team member’s self-confidence and efficiencies, which creates a win-win situation.

What are other key points should be discussed when delegating.  Please comment below. 

 

Change Through Project Managers

As a project manager, we are constantly changing an existing process or creating new ones, as part of the implementation process of a project.  You may encounter resistance to these changes from a project team member or other individuals that are influenced by the project, which becomes a challenging task to try to convenience others why the change is necessary.    

Why Are People Resistance to Change?

  • Fear of the Unknown:  Example-The introduction of a new computer system may bring resistance by users as it introduces ambiguity into what was once a comfort zone for most using the old technology and becomes a problem when there is little or no communication about the change
  • Fear of Failure: Employees may fear that change will result in an increase workload, performance expectations,  or task difficulty, where they may question their own competencies for handling these
  • Fear of Loss: Employees may fear they are going to lose their job when introducing advanced technology, for example, as they feel their expertise is not relevant anymore by the installation of more user-friendly, networked information systems or lose the positive qualities or the individual enjoys in that career position
  • Personality Conflicts: When the change agent/project manager’s personality creates negative reactions or appears insensitive to employee concerns and feelings, employees feel their needs are not being taken into account
  • Disruption of Interpersonal Relationships: A new computerized system could replace the one-on-one interaction with a person, as a computer replaces the human’s processes with the touch of a few buttons on the computer

How to Manage Resistance to Change?

  • Communication: Let others know of the impending change, which includes the details of the change and the rationale behind the change, as employees will want to know why the change is needed.  Answer the 5-P’s (Who, What When, Why, Where) If there is no good reason for the change, then why should others favor the change?
  • Participation: Involve those effected in the change in the project process, as a sense of ownership is established and they become more committed to the change, as they played a role in the process
  • Empathy & Support: Actively listen to identify the reasons behind the resistance to uncover each person’s fears, which can provide you with feedback that you can use to improve the change process.  Emotional support and encouragement through a the project manager can help reduce the resistance, as they know someone cares about their concerns

Tips:

  • Plan for Resistance and be ready with a variety of strategies for using the resistance as feedback and helping employees negotiate the transition
  • Put yourself in other people’s shoes in what you are signing others up to change/do
  • Take note of all feedback you receive from those that are resistance to see what you can do to help them reduce or eliminate their resistance
  • Demonstrate/Visuals of how the new changes will help them (New Software Program in Action/Training Session), as seeing can lead towards believing

 What tips have helped you to better manage resistance to change from others?

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Employee Feedback Importance

I was recently nominated to participate in an Employee Advisory Committee, at the place where I work, which began on Tuesday of this week.  This committee is made up 18 individuals, from different departments, which are then broken into smaller groups to work on a 1 of 3 posed questions that upper management decides upon, for a 1-year term.  Each team is to then take their question and put together a project presentation to present their findings from employee feedback and research on the topic to upper management.  The information provided to management hopefully helps in their decision-making process to provide an action plan that best fits the needs of employees in all levels of the organization.

During my first two days of the kick-off meeting, it has been quite an interesting and fun experience!  We each experienced:

  1. A presentation from our Chief of Staff Officer that provided us with a management overview of the organization of where we are and where we are headed.
  2. Listen to a few presentations from other senior managers
  3. Took a tour to learn more about our production line and how they build slot machines
  4. Enjoyed socializing with the committee members at a bowling event

Take-Aways From This Experience Thus Far:

  1. Face-to-Face:  Several of the committee members I had sent e-mails/called, but to put a face makes it more personable and you can get to know them better
  2. Become More Aware:  Understand the organization you work for better through management presentations, how your role plays a part in the organization, and how other people’s roles play a part in the organization
  3. Expand Your Network: By having a committee made up of several different people from several different departments, you now have a list of additional contacts and knowledge base to add to your network that you are able to communicate with and help you in your day-to-day job
  4. Share the Knowledge: Opportunity to ask upper management any question that was on our mind and get more of a one-on-experience by working in a smaller committee group size.  This also allows you to take that knowledge back to your department and inform others what you have learned from the presentations and experience
  5. New Experiences: Work with new people that each have different views, diverse levels of experience, and different techniques/tools to bring to the table

Importance of Employee Feedback Sessions:

  1. Essential for an organizational success to tell & keep managers updated about the organizations SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  2. Allows upper management to address issues/challenges
  3. Employees are the mediator between managers & customers, so this allows management to stay informed about customer-facing issues and ways to improve
  4. Allows the employee to help play a role in upper management decision-making

I am looking forward to this opportunity to learn more, on so many different levels, and grow more both as project manager and as a individual.

Have any of the organizations you have worked for ever had an employee advisory committee?  What are your experiences/feedback from it?

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Feedback Importance in Project Management

Encouraging feedback is one of the most important communication skills that can be used to engage with other members in your project team.  Just like all project leadership skills, it takes practice to help build your confidence and improve this skill. When feedback is given in the right way and with the right intentions, encouraging feedback can help put you on the right road to performance greatness.

It is important for the project manager (PM) to provide feedback to team members, so they hear the PM’s thoughts and suggestions on what they are doing well and not.  This helps to show your project team members that you care about their success and helps to motivate them to continue improving.

Types of Feedback the Project Manager Can Provide to Team Members:

  • Affirmative Feedback: Helps to maintain good performance by telling someone they have done a good job, as this helps reward the person and encourages them to continue that type of positive behavior.
  • Development Feedback: Helps people see what they can do differently, to possibly assist in changing their behavior and performance

As the project manager, how would you answer the following questions:

  • Do you provide feedback to project team members?
  • What type of feedback do you give (Affirmative or developmental or both)?
  • What is the best method of feedback do you use?
  • How frequently do you provide feedback to project team members?
 
 
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